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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  December 11, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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would save a huge amount of money. in terms of getting rid of less effective programs or reforming them, once again, i am in favor of doing that. we do need to keep working on that. there are some programmatic spending and that should be eliminated or bill should be eliminated or curtailed. when i was in the clinton administration and in charge of of the social programs and the federal government i had a wonderful staff of civil servants, highly trained, highly competent. i would not have wanted to pay them a lot less. they were doing the work that you seem to want to have done, which is to scrutinize all of these programs and put pressure on the agencies to cut those that are not working and to ferret out all of the inefficiencies as well as the fraud. i think jim has had some
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experiences. guest: the federal government has tried to roll up waste and fraud, but when taxpayer money is involved it is different than a private enterprise. the ability for fraud to creep into government programs financed by taxes is much tighter than private enterprises -- because shareholders have their own money that they invest. there are a certain amount of problems. for instance, medicare, probably in the order of $60 billion per year in a wasteful and fraudulent payments. this is a huge number. it is in part because medicare programs paying a billion claims a year for medical services. the ability to track the claims and figure out which ones are right and wrong is limited at the federal level. i think there is a certain amount of things that go on and government that is difficult to get all the waste out. the caller is absolutely right it to be a top priority. host: alright, kathy, wesley chapel florida, republican
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caller. you will have to make a quick. caller: hi. ok, first, i think it would be -- can you hear me? first, it would be a great service to the early people if they would stop calling social security and entitlement programs. our wages actually funded that. secondly, -- is the administration action aware of the woes of the people, that we are suffering, when they continue to throw these things back and forth? when we have no means to do anything for ourselves? host: what specifically are you talking about? caller: i am sorry, what did you say? host: what specifically are you talking about, no means? caller: i guess i should address the $58 billion we pay a year for foreign aid.
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that we pay out each year, to secure our protection so our citizens there, our embassies there, people who keep favor with them. host: isabel, if you could adjust -- you address them. if i turn to jim -- be agreed, is it a drop in the bubble -- but it, 40? guest: there is a misperception, the size. it is billions of dollars but the size of a $3 trillion budget is very small. moreover, i am of the view -- i am not an expert but i am of the view that the amount of money being spent trying to position the united states to have influence in the world, bring about the values we have in the country, to spread those, i am not really a big fan saying foreign aid needs to go.
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host: unfortunately we have to leave it there. thank you very much for both of being part of this discussion. we are all out of time here. there is a senate committee that is under way looking at the older americans act passed in 1965 to provide social services to older adults. >> one of these presentations i did not have to go into a song and dance about what it is and what we do. everyone here is familiar with us. the work we are going to be presenting comes from a report that will be released during the hearing, during the presentation. gao-13-74, older americans act, to improve target and to meet equity. the older americans act was passed, to buy services to older adults and help them remain in
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their homes and communities, and provides very important services. title 3, provides support services like transportation and home delivered meals. title 3 provides care giver support. and the title 7, it provides protection activities to protect the rights of all vulnerable elderly people. in fiscal 2012, the title three had about $1.36 billion. title 7, $22 million. obviously, with the fiscal cliff discussions, these are sort of rounding errors. but as i am sure you all know, these are services the targeted community depends heavily on. and we know america is aging. america is getting older every day. i think 10,000 people retire every day. by 2030 is as -- it is
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estimated 20% of the population will be aged 65 and over. this really targets services to an expanding population. next slide, please. the current funding formula for the older americans act, it is primarily based on age before title b and c and 7, the share of population age 60 and older, and for title 3e, the share of population which is 70 or older. the act also provide a minimal level of funding for each state. no state can receive less than half a percent in total appropriation. in 2012 these numbers were about 5.9 million and title seven, $108,000 respectively. the law also includes a provision, each state will receive a least as much as in
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the prior fiscal year. while the federal formula is based on age, the older americans act requires state programs to target prioritized services to that population with the greatest economic and social needs. these include factors like poverty, living at or below the poverty level, disability, having physical or mental impairments, and also isolation -- either cultural, social, or geographic isolation caused by a variety of factors. the states are required to consider such factors when they allocate their federal funds to different local agencies this slide gives you an idea of just the flow of the funds that comes out of h h s, goes through the administration community on the ring and aging, goes to a population of states either over age 60 or 70, it goes to the
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state -- on aging who allocate using bone formless targeting those with greatest social and economic need to the local agencies, local service providers. in 2011, we did a study where we found that for the very old, those over 85, minorities and poor, experience greater disabilities in terms of being able to perform -- basically to have an independent lifestyle. these are activities, and we need to book would call them activities of daily living, and a measure things like being able to eat or to bathe one's self, to dress, and so on. we found that many of the same population groups that the older americans act identifies as a those having greatest social and economic need, are the ones who also have the impairment to activities for daily living.
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previously data were not available to really identify the populations in each state which have limitation on activities of daily living but beginning in 2008 the census bureau began collecting data on it. now we come look at it, that previously we really were not able to explore. this project, we did three things. first, we said how big the states, given their path is targeting to those of greater social and economic need, how their allocation formulas looked like? secondly, the of the federal government were to move more toward such an allocation, what our options they can do to implement targeting to the population with a greater social and economic need. and, three, what are the distribution consequences of some of the options.
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typicalgao this phonology, we did a bunch of different things. first, we collected information. the interstate funding formula for all 50 states. and then we read the literature. we did the literature on the older americans act services, held their debuts in general -- and we interviewed at the same groups and did site visits to the states of illinois and wisconsin, we spoke to federal officials and so on, and finally we were able to collect data from the census bureau, on the activities of daily living. we got labor statistics data, housing data, and collected data by the treasury as well. the first objective, basically what we found is state interpret the requirement to target those with greatest social and economic need in a variety of ways. they use a lot of different
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variables. they include things like age. they look at income, poverty level. they look at rural residence. they look at disability and parents that is. they look at the percentage of population that may be a minority. and then the states vary in terms of how much they convinced the variables, and whether they include all of them. -- how much they weight the variables and whether they include all of them. the second objective, we look at if the federal government was going to move in the direction and change the formula of older americans act, how might one do that? the social science limit -- literature, there are a couple of standards people use, lead to assess equity in the situations. a common one is beneficiary equity. these are basically targeting program and resources based on
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need and also suggesting that the state level or unit level for the cost of providing the services. you can have, for example, partial beneficiary equity, which really just look at the size of the population that really is to be targeted. the canal full beneficiary equity, which would also incorporate some sort of cost measure into the analysis. in this report, we looked at partial beneficiary equity. we were not able at the time to complete the work on a full beneficiary equity. that is something we now have the capability of doing and we can share with the senator and staff or anyone interested in seeing the information. another variable is taxpayer equity. this you can think of in a lot of different ways. i do not want to get too technical, but basically it is
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looking at the ability of the state contributing a comparable or proportional amount of resources to the federal program. what we did, the current formula of just targeting populations on the basis of age, really does not seem as correlated with this population of greatest social and economic need compared to the use of some of the variables. for example, we know the current family -- formula does not take into account the needs of the elderly population. it does not have any sort of cost factor and certainly does not take into account any capacity of the states to finance services. to give an example, we took two states. we just took the states and -- basically the only reason being they have comparable populations of people age 60 and over. and then we said, well, let's
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look at, suppose we look at those states and say the population over age 60, how many of them had at least one limitation to them being able to perform daily living activities. and we found here that while the states were comparable just in terms of looking at population of over age 60, when you start looking at what the adl limitations, that are quite different. under the current formula, colorado and louisiana get comparable amounts of resources, while if we inc. an adl limitation variable, the differences, the population differences would be fairly significant. so, looking again at using this variable of an adl limitation -- i will look at how correlated is it with other key aspects of the population that many might consider have a greater social
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and economic need. if you look at poverty level, for those over age 60 and reporting at least one adl limitation, about 50% were below the poverty level. 42% were limited english speaking. and if you look at minorities, those minority and low-income, over 50% of the population that had at least one limitation to an adl would be in that group. this graph here simply shows as one ages, how people's ability to function, to do their daily lives, really start to erode. age 60-64, only 34% had an limitation and by the time you are 85 or older, almost three- quarters of the population
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really cannot do it all the things that of one would do just to continue to living independently. this is probably the most interesting figure. if you look at states that have -- what this graph shows is, we went through each state and we know for all people over age 60 in the u.s., 34% have one adl limitation. we looked at all the states and to apportion their of their people over age 60 and compared it to the national standard 34%. and so, obviously some states are going to have the low 34 percent and some will the way higher. if you look at the very dark space and the central part of the country, which includes
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kentucky, alabama, west virginia, those are the states that if you recruited -- include a limitation on adl, they have a very large population that falls into that category. the lightly colored states -- nevada,, roddick, minnesota, some of the others -- those states have basically a much healthier population over age 60. they have a much lower percentage of people over age 60 that have at least one limitation on their ability to continue independent living. if you wanted to move toward a full beneficiary equity, you would want to incorporate cost factors, and some of the key factors would be things like wages, food, the program provides meals to older people, office space, and so on. we did not complete the
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analysis but we have the capability of doing it at this time. similarly, we did not get involved, we did not complete our analysis incorporating taxpayer equity. but again, allocations could be adjusted to achieve sets -- such equity by basing allocations, incorporating a factor that captures a state's ability to fund the program services. and so, a state with few or taxing resources would have a larger allocation percentage, and therefore a larger final allotment, everything else equal. and also available here, from the department of treasury, that we could look to calculate how it can affect the allocations across space. we did one distributional analysis where we looked at all the states for a partial beneficiary -- implementing a
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partial beneficiary equity variable alone. we refined this -- a population and thus had at least one adl limitation. when you look at this time at you -- as you would imagine and expect, there are winners and losers. 29 states would have a decrease of funding under the program. 22 states would have an increase. and some of these changes could be fairly sizable. we found 10 states and would have decreases in federal allocation of over 20% while seven states would have increases of over 20%. it could actually have a fairly significant impact here. states with higher elderly population with adl populations, the dark color in the earlier net slide, what had increasing allocations.
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and the states that were now getting the minimum allocation, they could see larger decreases. states like alaska, delaware, and wyoming. if you only used this criterion with no other changes, they could suffer significant decreases who their allocations. a lot of -- in the current law with a minimum standards. if one wanted to start incorporating other factors to improve the targeting of the federal money toward those with greatest economic and social needs, there are a lot of options, a lot of ways you can do that. you could, for example, phase in any new formula. you could have a year one of the new formula -- you could have 50% of the money being allocated on the old formula,
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50% in the new formula and over time you would move incrementally toward the new formula. we could maintain the funding floors and ceilings to sort of minimize the impact of a change in form over any year. you could also keep a hold harmless provision. a minimum allocation provision for small states. so there are a lot of different things you can do if he one a to still improve the targeting of this program toward those with the greatest social and economic need. final things -- just a few comments. given a rising elderly population in this country and current fiscal concerns, challenges we are facing, one can look at changing the funding formula, the federal funding formula, for the older americans act toward those with the greater social and economic needs. there are a lot of different ways to do that.
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we explored one in this report. there are the ones you could do. and you can also put in of the bells and whistles, other provisions to implement any new funding formula in a way which mitigates any large short-term effect. with that, i am available and my colleagues are available for any questions you might have. [inaudible] >> using a three-year estimate. can you talk a little bit more about the measure, the ability of the measure and why three- year construction and maybe not year-by-year, and whether there
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is a lot of variation or another sample size to get the state level measure of disability or just the ability of the -- validity of it itself? >> part of the reason for the three-year average was to mitigate some of the year-to- year variations you would see if you did a year-to-year estimate. if the american community survey has been used for quite a mile -- the american community survey has been used for quite a while and we believe it is a valid measure of needed with respect to measuring limitations and activities of daily living. were there specific concerns you had with the measure? >> using one year of the acs to get a state level population estimate on a, a smaller example of the size of your state may be problematic.
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wood's wondering if that was part of your factor in going to a three-year estimate. are there other formulas and other government programs that use acs that use it in this way? >> we are not aware of and other programs that use acs that way. we were aware of the concerns about the one year of the number and that is why we chose to use a three-year average. >> using the -- many of the other programs are moving in to use the acs. you could check in a cpdg, how they are splicing it in. >> may be a very simple question. i am not a social scientist.
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but on taxpayer equity, i am confused by the title. your slides are helpful in explaining how they work but i am a little turned around by the juxtaposition of taxpayer and equity because it seems light -- we are just reading about, confused by the fact that states that have not had higher levels of state level funds and older americans act programs and services will then get fewer federal dollars -- wondering if any thinking was going into the fact that act -- the act was to leverage additional dollars. state and localities were encouraged to continue to contribute so it was not reliant just upon federal government -- dollars. not grasping not so much what you did the why you title the that? >> anyone when to jump in? >> taxpayer equity is one of the generally accepted equity standards. we did not create the title. it is kind of the term for the standard. essentially it is looking at a
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state's ability to raise revenue, not necessarily how much money they are actually putting into services. it is saying a state's ability -- it state's income tax, their taxable income base, to what extent they have a large income tax base. it is not taking into account what they actually have chosen as a policy to tax. in the idea that you would not penalize states who have chosen to taxed at higher rates or tax all income versus state to choose maybe not to have an income tax. it is looking at their capacity to tax versus their actual tax. >> ok -- thank you very much.
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we have copies of the report available. any other questions, we are available. we can talk on the side here. thank you very much for attending. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we will have live coverage when the house cavils in at 2:00 a.m. eastern today here on c- span. the senate gavels in 10:00 a.m. this morning. general speeches now. later they will debate whether
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to continue an fbi program for limited deposit insurance for certain accounts, as part of the banking crisis response. you can see it live on our companion network c-span2. off the floor, negotiations continue on the fiscal cliff. this morning "washington journal" talk to a business representative about his take on the negotiations. host: let's begin with what is business forward, how did it come about? guest: is simple mission. our job is to make it easier for business leaders in the country who care about policy issues but did not have a washington office or a lobbyist, to speak about the issues of public policy. host: is this a brand-new organization? who is involved? >> we have been around 3 1/2 years, supported by some of the biggest companies of the world, with business leaders are in the country.
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we go out to small business owners, entrepreneurs, venture capitalist to get them involved in policy-making. what we do is we bring administration officials, members of congress, governors out to cities around the country to be briefings with business leaders. what we also do is bring the business leaders to washington. we tell them how to grow jobs and accelerate. host: what did the business leaders say to the president and how did it come about? guest: we have been doing this for a year, bringing 50-plus different groups to the white house to talk to the council of economic advisers. the last eight or nine -- specifically to the fiscal cliff. when brought business leaders from 32 different states, the white house, and the message they are giving was pretty consistent with simpson-bowles and fixed the debt and how the business voices have been characterized in the media. they are anxious and they want
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certainty as quickly as possible. they tend to use simpson-bowles as the frame of reference. the question is not which plan, republican of democratic, is better. it is which plan is closer to simpson-bowles and why. host: here is "the hill" newspaper. obama-friendly business group given greater access to the white house. guest: well, first of all we -- what we do is bring business leaders from around the country to brief the president and economic team on everything from health care reform to immigration reform. the fiscal cliff, intellectual property protection. and the business leaders are speaking for themselves. generally speaking, business
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leaders are centrist, the data driven, results oriented, and they are looking for compromise in washington. is it a pro-obama group, protest republican group? it is really its own group and the to the people speak for themselves. host: who are some of the names people might recognize, the ceo's of which companies? guest: the efforts the white house has made this year is much larger and much more effective than it was last year. they are bringing in more people with business ford but with a lot of other organizations as well. the president spoke with financial services leaders and has brought in two groups of big-name ceos. -- the president has spoken with business forward. six out of 10 per ceo's of small companies. -- tend to be ceo's of small companies. smaller investors, smaller business owners. the 10 to go after people from flint, michigan, not so, in
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tennessee. by a large we're talking to smaller investors, entrepreneurs, business owners. host: what are the members concerns with the fiscal cliff stocks? -- talks? guest: for most small-business owners and senior executives at big companies, the fear is that going over the cliff, even on a technical term, will increase their borrowing costs and will put our economic recovery at risk. most business leaders point to simpson-bowles. they understand that we have to raise revenue and we also have to control spending. they generally like the outlines of the simpson-bowles deal, the principles behind it. spread the cost, protect the most vulnerable, don't disrupt the economic recovery, try to simplify the tax code. they generally support those principles.
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host: do they believe a recession could happen if we fall off the so called "fiscal cliff?" guest: they do. what we saw last year is business leaders were concerned that washington was not going to come together with a deal. and that it could end badly, but it was a more muted concern. they just trusted washington would get it done. given how quickly things happened last time, they are taking a much more active role. business leaders have come to washington to require a minimum height standard for the ride of the fiscal cliff. they want to make sure that members of either party who are speaking out are as close as possible to simpson-bowles. talk about real cuts, about real revenue. it's much more and ownership in the process this time. host: where does your group come down on regulations? guest: our job is to go out and
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get business leaders around the country more involved. the business leaders speak for themselves. business leaders are generally extremely influential in their home markets. there are the kind of people if that can give a member of congress moderate republican or moderate democratic calls on tougher votes. -- cover on a really tough votes. those leaders are increasingly concerned about what going on in washington and they want to get more involved. we also know that technology is developing, social media and all the rest, which makes it easier for someone on route 128 in boston or savannah, georgia, to have a bigger impact. we are seeing the issues are increasingly coming down to a tough choices, tough choices of business leaders. host: how would they characterize regulations? guest: generally, regulations rank high. you have large financial
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services companies concerned with dodd-frank. you also have smaller businesses that are concerned the big banks are not lending. so they both have different views on financial services. host: a republican from missouri says -- he heads up the small business committee and house the -- you can see this segment in its entirety on our website c- and look in the video library. now to capitol hill, where the senate banking committee is holding a hearing on federal rental assistance program with the assistance secretary for public and indian housing at the housing and urban development department. santer and retest is discussing the regulatory changes in hud section 8 and rental housing assistance programs and opportunity for improvement.
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she is just beginning to testimony. we picked it up like here on c- span. for reforming the oversight structure to strength of the portfolio and increase responsible the flexibility to respond to housing needs. there is strong consensus among policy experts and practitioners for a number of key reforms that will streamline and simplify hud's read assistance program. in the fiscal years 13 budget request hhud punta gorda reforms around which there is consensus, including consolidating the voucher in public housing families of success in deprogram an opening eligibility multifamily residents. enacting a rental policy demonstration to test the effectiveness of different policies and encouraging family economic dependent and self- sufficiency and biennial inspections for housing choices about to units to reduce administrative and financial burdens. we are exploring further streamlining measures that
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require statutory authority and maybe worth pursuing a fiscal year 14. our commitment to streamlining this implementation -- simplification extends to the future of public housing as well. we recognize the importance of aligning our structure with basic property management principles. a small public housing authorities view our existing oversight structure known as the public housing assessment system phad is increasingly unworkable. and they assert the that the program is heavy-handed and small housing authorities pose little risk to hud and they should therefore is about -- scaled-back oversight of small agencies. in response we have taken steps to adjust how public housing authorities are stored under the system, and we are willing to change and consider other changes as well. a broader reform that embraces traditional real-estate management practices will bring substantial administrative sizes,to cha's of all helping to put the public
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housing portfolio and a more solid foundation. reform of hud's oversight structure, the next up on the path establish a decade ago, was implementation and asset management, or accounting, budgeting, funding and management are performed at the property level rather than public housing level. the rental assistance demonstration, a top priority of this administration, a.k.a. rad, addresses contractual relationship between public housing authorities and hud and offers participation -- participating authorities option to convert into long-term section 8 contracts to allow them to leverage private investment similar to those available to private property owners participating in the multifamily program. we expect it will help reverse the loss of public housing units and preserve the portfolio going forward. the moving to work program was authorized in 1996 as a demonstration as well to provide a limited number of housing authorities with the statutory
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and regulatory flexibility to test practices that increased cost the effectiveness, reward employment and economic independence, and increase housing choices for a low income families. mtw has enabled housing authorities to pioneered innovative approaches to serve the homeless families, building resident earnings and assets, achieving cost efficiencies and leveraging private capital. for example, home forward, formally known as portland housing authority used project vouchers to provide housing to formally homeless veterans and the building is served by full- time residents services coordinator and services provided by the va program. a -- the flexibility allows it to bribe -- to provide security using va housing vouchers. the apartment is pleased by some of the most importance stakeholders from public housing authorities and low income housing at the busy communities could negotiate the differences
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-- advocacy committees could negotiate. as the committee crass the legislation we hope you will consider the stakeholder approach. mr. chairman, there is an irrefutable need for rental assistance across this nation. at the same time, there is longstanding consensus on a set of reforms that will streamline and simplify administration of housing choice voucher and the public housing program. hud is committed to improving not only the administration of the program but oversight of the public housing program as well. and we look forward to working with the committee and industry partners to develop property- based oversight structure. we also recognize that an expansion of a mtw program must be coupled with measures to protect tenants, a sure oversight and a bout with results. i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. as we've been question -- we begin questions, i would ask the
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clerk to put five minutes on the clock for each member. as you mentioned earlier, -- in the state and around the country are struggling to provide services to families. how will the proposals we have been discussing here reduce the , particularly's small agencies serving large areas like those in south dakota? >> that is a good question. thank you very much. our proposals to streamline and administer and also look at the options of having -- consortiums, smaller agencies spending together in order to have economies of scale in administrating the programs. in addition, we believe there are streamlining opportunities around inspections, rents
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certifications that could happen, particularly for those families on fixed income. happening on a less frequent basis, because the income change is small and is known year after year. we also believe the inspection protocols could move from annual to biennial, particularly in housing authorities where there is a known tenant population with less wear and tear on those units, which indeed may free up housing authority staff, create efficiencies, economies, and allow housing authorities to spread the oppressors -- spread their precious resources ferber to serve the population. >> pha's in my state have also described difficulties in keeping up with the regulatory burdens and paperwork. for example, south dakotans mentioned they are often asked to submit the same the
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information multiple times. we must obviously find a balance between the need to provide appropriate oversight of taxpayer dollars with the needs of agencies, particularly small agencies which have limited staff and funding. are there any actions hud then take to reduce the burdens on small pha's? >> yes, we are examining particularly but reporting and regulatory burden on smallpha's and we are trying a couple of things in a couple of different areas. we want to look at what we can do to streamline across the board. it two, we are looking at our own data collection systems to make sure we ask for it once and not in the bucket ways. and when we ask for it, it is information we are going to use.
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to make sure our data collection is as tight as possible. in addition, providing regulatory relief to small agencies in particular. there are some things we think makes totally good sense from a property management and monitoring perspective. we want to take those not just for small agencies, but we want to take them to scale because if they are good for small agencies doing real estate property management, they are good for other larger agencies to do the same work as well. there other issues around regulatory streamlining that we would like to talk more with both the committee and small agencies about what they need to run their businesses and balance that with what hud needs for monitoring. we realize we need to look at risk and assess risk, and generally small housing authorities, if you follow the money, small agencies are less riskier proposition than larger
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to get the bulk of the hud dollars. but we want to strike the balance and make sure we are being as effective and efficient with all the stakeholders. >> you have recommended increasing the medical deduction used in income and rent out deletions from 3% to 10% of income. previous versions of the senate piece of legislation and the bill under discussion in the house financial-services committee take a broader approach to simplifying income and the rent calculations. these measures would streamline several deductions and hud's complicated income calculations and replace them with our standard deductions. do you support this broader approach to simplifying deductions? >> yes, we do support a broader
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approach to simplifying. we think there will be less errors and it will be easier for residents to understand the changes. it will be easier for housing authority staff to compute and make less mistakes in those computations. we also think there needs to be a balance between standard deductions and -- both standard deductions and preparing that with any changes in the medical deductions, so there is a balanced program. this is truly not to harm or calls greater cost to be bored by the most economically vulnerable citizens that we have in my -- in our programs. >> senator reid the -- reed? >> thank you very much. as we know one of the consistent things from your department of the chairman's questioning is lowering the dead weight -- for want of a matter term -- on
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small public housing authorities. you are trying to do that. one issue that has come recently to our attention is the agency, yours is recognized and awarding of ffs grants, there were errors and you are trying to correct them. we have a housing authority and north providence in the process. this is another sort of example of particularly the smaller public housing authorities where when they have to go back and redo the work, it just adds to the administrative cost. could you give insight as to what is happening and what you are doing? >> yes, thank you for the question. i sometimes referred to would as cosmic convergence. there were several things that went wrong and they went wrong at the same time, and hence, we find ourselves having made a mistake. in the award in the calculations for those awards on the grant
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and vouchers side. as relates to small housing authorities and any authority that applies earlier this year, we are not asking for re- submission. we will re-process starting at the point where hud made the first mistake, the data pull. i want to make it clear, nofa has written made a point, we would do a data opull from the database that looks at the yearlong number of families registered under the family self-sufficiency program in any housing authority. we will post the data on a website, and the leak is in the nofa so if you click on electronically it automatically took you to the posting. in addition, we said, please talk -- check the posting to see the numbers we have for your particular housing authority and it said if it disagrees with the number, would you please then submit a supplemental -- or ad
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hoc report to accompany your submission. and we use than that set mission as a way to calculate the funding for those housing authorities that submitted the ad hoc report. even with that, our data pull was a point in time rather than an entire year, so it did not take into account -- you might have had a thousand people in the beginning of the year, people graduated and you are replacing them so your number is lower at the point in time pulled. that was mistake number one. so, what we are doing is we are asking -- in fact, a letter went out friday to all housing authorities that it submitted about 750, we will be reprocessing and here is the information and this is the re- posting and this is where you will find it. check the re-posting, pull your own numbers and resubmit and
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from that point forward we will then actually reprocess all of the applications. and we will make other adjustments where some people got awards who should not, and some books at lower awards and some got higher amounts of man they were due. -- because it was a mistake by the department, we do not want housing authorities and cascading down to the residents who use the services, the self- sufficiency coordinator, we do not want folks to be harmed. so, for people who should have not been awarded the money, we are going to make available extraordinary admin fees for them if they can continue if the already hired people and make employment commitments, but they will not be harmed moving forward and will not have to take a loss of laypeople off. >> thank you very much, secretary. let me make two points because
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my time is one -- winding down. you and your pool for essentially merging or consolidating both ffs now program and the program for public housing authority, i think that as part of your design. that is reflected in legislation i submitted and some of my colleagues. i think it makes sense. the second point is, you alluded to, too, this notion of banding together. spreading overhead cost. something i think we should all explore. do you know, i am sure there are communities in south dakota and new jersey and rhode island where there is one housing officials trying to cope with all of this in a really difficult climate. so, to the extent weekend incentivize this sort of coming together -- maybe not formally but through joint services, that would be very good. so, any advice you have for us
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going forward we would appreciate that. but thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madame secretary. >> senator craig o? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i apologize that i will only be able to be here for a couple of moments but i just wanted to stop by and indicate to you and the chair as well as our witness and to the other members of the committee that in these difficult budget times that we see, and understanding i think we all have, that funding issues are critical, i think it is important for us to focus on the kind of regulatory activity the department can bring and the focus it can bring to these housing issues. i think the deregulation of section 8 is very critical and important. and the strengthening -- and i would hope in the process that the moving to work program could get strengthening and a renewed strong focus as we move forward. but i just wanted to stop in and
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indicate my support for the process moving forward and encourage that we work closely together on it. and again, i apologize. i have been in four places does our and i have another one to get to. i apologize i will have to step right out. >> madam secretary, do you will have any comments about these issues? >> we just look forward to working with the committee, both in strengthening the regulatory oversight that is appropriate and balancing it for the need of housing authorities to get the work done to serve the people housed in those programs. so, thank you very much, sir. >> senator menendez? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for calling the hearing. we had a hearing in the subcommittee that laid the foundation and i am pleased to see the secretary here to build upon it. madam secretary, we have discussing reforms to section 8 for some time now, and i think there is a tendency to forget how incredibly pressing the need
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for action really is. affordable housing advocates and housing authorities back in new jersey are telling me that these reforms cannot wait and that they are urgently needed now. so, can you give the committee a sense of the impact over time if congress fails to act as relatively soon after such a long time of having this discussion to implement specific reform provisions? what flows from that? >> it is a really good question. thank you, senator. i am taking a moment because i want to get centered, because i think there are a lot of potential issues that will flow from this. as you know already, as administrative fees, the money that housing authorities get for leasing units under the section
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8 side, as those fees increase decrease, the workload does not. what they have to do, the kinds of questions, the documentation required on an annual basis, does not decrease in spite of the fact that the funding to do that work has decreased. which has meant that housing authorities in some instances have had to lay people off. and that has led to a longer waiting list for people. it means that people are on the waiting list longer, let live in more difficult conditions long. it also meant that as he laid off people with decreasing funding, that housing authority employees themselves will find themselves in difficult straits as well. the way in which we think about how the program gets managed gets more difficult, but less
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people but more workload or similar work load, meaning potential for more error, and potential for more error means potential for more waste of taxpayer dollars. and so, we really do need to think about streamlining so the work gets done and people get howls as quickly as possible and operation -- the people get housed as quickly as possible and things are streamlined and efficient so errors are minimized and to maximize the dollars and resources. >> how will bought housing authorities refusing to run their voucher programs and turning down past vouchers to assist homeless veterans and the loss of unit? >> we have seen it in several instances. in fact, not just those vouchers but we have seen about a dozen housing authorities decided they are not going to operate a belcher program anymore, and they have made arrangements to consolidate operations with
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another larger housing authority. it means that the folks who need the subsidy, the affordability, are not getting served. it means that the amount of work that it takes to do the job well it is not able to be supported. and it means, most of all, that we will have homeless veterans and other homeless families in the emergency conditions, and that should not be tolerated. >> let me just quickly -- there are some core reform provisions that i would like to get your comments on. one is having a stable about chernobyl and policy that would create predictability. i am told it is very hard for housing authorities to plan for the year ahead when they do not know exactly what it would do. and also clarify how much money housing authorities can hold and reserves for a rainy day without them being taken off said. and also, the flexibility
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provisions that are being -- that have been discussed in project-based bell chirrs, enabling -- enabling -- especially the elderly and disabled families, those transitioning out of homelessness, to live in affordable housing opportunities the opportunity to receive services on site. how will that predictability, clarity, and the funding side and flexibility translate into more families more families served? >> predictability is something that we would indoors wholeheartedly. it means that a housing authority can plan its business moving board and will understand its resources. i would say that does not just benefit the housing authority and its employees, but it benefits the residents who are
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participating in those programs. we have heard in the past issues around shortfall or not having sufficient funds to make sure everyone who needs to be housed has a doctor renewed. this is to make sure we do not have to have those discussions and again. further, i believe that a fixed formula renewal funding will mean that housing authorities are able to build up small reserves. right now, it is at about three weeks. a three-week reserve and a multi-billion dollar program is really not a lot of money when you are running a voucher program tied to market real- estate forces. while there are limits, the
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natural tendency for a housing authority is to want to house as many people on it waiting lists as possible. that is why we are in this business. having that predictability will allow them to do that particularly when it is coupled with understanding that one of the things we keep asking for now is the reallocation of 30. in some markets, it may be easier to lease. some will not use all the money that comes to them. the ability to reallocate so we can continue to maximize housing across this nation is something we will look forward to as well. >> chairman, thank you so much. i look forward to working with the chair and his leadership
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hopefully in the next congress to see if this is something we could prioritize because i think there are two goals. getting more people to have a place to call home and to save taxpayer money. >> do you support the idea [indiscernible] for purposes or forming partnerships to a minister their public housing programs. congress initially authorize the use in 1988, yet i understand -- taken from the advantage of this authority. what is hud doing to remove barriers to facilitate participation if they're determined it will meet their local needs? >> there are several actions
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that we are taking right now. consortiums are allowed in the doctor administering agencies but not on the public housing side. we are looking to extend the ability to have that happen in the public housing programs. in addition, right now under, housing authorities ban together to get the economies of scale but they still have to fill out three or four separate reports to hud because they are still seen as three or four separate public housing entities. this is why streamlining and administrative flexibility is so important because we are trying to figure out ways in which housing authorities could file one report for example that would cover their agencies.
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we would still ask each housing authority to file for its own attendance and participants into our database which is our personal information on every single household in the voucher program. we would ask that under family self-sufficiency, there is one report that is done back covers what the goals are early in the program. we're looking at all sorts of ways. we have been working with a number of housing authorities across the country asking them what information do they need to run their day-to-day business about how they make their business decisions and then translating that into what information we could use to monitor them as well so we are
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not asking for different information or a different format than they already collected. >> you mention your support for the rental assistance demonstration enacted in fiscal 2012, or rad, in your remarks. can you update us on the status of this demonstration? can you also comment on a draft house proposal to authorize funds for use in this conversion demonstration and how they may be used to reserve assisted housing? >> yes, thank you. the rental assistance demonstration program was authorized in fiscal 2012. it was designed initially as eight two application period for public housing properties -- a
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two-application period for public housing properties. the initial application period ended october 24 and just several weeks ago. we got a number of applications that are still being tabulated but they range from small housing authorities to medium housing prioritieauthorities. on an ongoing rolling basis, applications are coming in after the october 24 date. we will look at those after the initial cut has been reviewed. the previous bill said we could get up to 60,000 units in at no cost using contracts or vouchers. in that 60,000 cap is also
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authorizing for multifamily programs, rent supplements, rental assistance payments, and section 8 model rehab. while we strongly support this program as a way to preserve public housing to get enough capital in fewest using private sector -- infused using private sector tools to get private money into the public arena to help rehabilitate and maintain these properties, we do know there are a number of properties for home this does not work because they have a larger capital need. so, we look forward to what we have seen in previous iterations on the house side with additional money going into that program which would help housing authorities with greater capital
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needs leverage greater amounts of equity. but what we are seeing which is helpful is housing authorities using a variety of tools for next finance deals to make this happen. it puts them on the same real- estate platform as everything else in the real-estate market place using the equity from properties to leverage capital improvement dollars to make sure properties are maintained at current standards and will continue to improve and be available to serve the people who live there now and for future generations who need the economic stability. >> i would like to thank assistant secretary henriquez for her testimony and for being with us today. this hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> once again if you missed any of this hearing, you can see it in its entirety on a website at the u.s. house will be meeting this afternoon to debate a motion to go into negotiations with the senate on defense department programs for the next year. we will have live coverage at 2:00 p.m. eastern here on c- span. the senate gaveled in this morning at 10:00. later, they will be debating whether or not to continue an fdic program. it was part of the banking
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crisis response. you can see that debate live on c-span to. the house coming in at noon eastern and we will have live coverage here on c-span. right now, a discussion on the fiscal cliff and domestic program cuts. host: we have been taking a look at different policy aspects of negotiations. before we get to that, sequestration -- if that happens, we're talking about automatic spending cuts for domestic spending. what is sequestration? guest: they used to talk about the vegematic which was a late night kitchen product that did the cutting for you. under the 2011 budget control
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act, congress was supposed to have a super committee that would determine about $1.20 trillion in deficit-reduction over 10 years. the backup plan was something that nobody wanted. that was across-the-board cuts of about $500 billion over 10 years ending in domestic spending. and another $500 billion in national security related spending. host: we are talking about a total of $109 billion in cuts. the non-defense part of that makes up about $38 billion. guest: of the mandatory past to do with the program's beneficiaries are committed to
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receiving by law. host: if this happens, let's begin with what is not on the table. guest: military pay, veterans' benefits, a lot of what would be called social welfare programs, like food stamps, or the snap. a social security, medicare is exempt. there are also federal salaries that cannot be effected. host: there are a lot of cuts that would go through it sequestration happens, but what are some of the big ones that people would notice?
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guest: in october, a ranking member of the house committee had detailed projections. remember, agencies have been prohibited from acting them out in detail, so a lot of projections come from congress and interest groups. this house appropriations letter details above 24,000 jobs. talk about 3000 fbi employees. it talked about a head start programs -- 100,000 fewer children been involved -- and rolled. it took about women's health programs. about 45,000 low-income women would heard that, and a
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nutrition program, about 900,000 would lose out, and about 16,000 fewer teachers. host: here are some others from bloomberg news -- national institutes of health, to $0.5 billion. after the been gauzy thing, that could be cut. -- libya thing, that could be cut. guest: they're trying to put some of the embassy money back, i just read. i have heard that the sequestration cuts would be the
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equivalent of shutting down parks. that would be something people would notice. host: both sides are trying to come up with a compromise. with the republicans want to do? -- what do the republicans want to do? guest: they have more emphasis on spending cuts, in john boehner has come up with a $2 trillion planned over 10 years, and offered $800 billion in revenue he would like to get from tax reform, broadening the base, and removing some of the tax deductions without raising the income tax rates on higher income tax all -- taxpayers. president obama has not offered a specific plan for spending cuts. he has offered economic stimulus for job creation, but
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he has offered about $400 billion in medicare cuts as a starting point. president obama seems to be going to the mat on raising the top tax brackets for houses burning $250,000 or more, and this is what the republicans for political and historical reasons have had the most trouble. host: house republicans, according to "usa today," -- guest: the best indicator of that would be the budget passed by the house by paul ryan, and it includes budget category cuts lead in transportation, or
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social services for income security. it does not get to the specific program-level, but he is talking about a 26% cut in transportation, which analysts have extrapolated and could mean a huge cuts in the number of air-traffic controllers, for example which would cause flight delays and cancellations. they would have to get more specific later on. that is the general framework. host: how much does domestic spending consume of our federal government? guest: well, if they cut $38 billion, we have a $3.5 trillion annual budget, and a thoughtful approach is about $1.2 trillion. this small compared with social sector, medicare and medicaid spending.
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host: the center on budget and policy priorities the 13% number, is that we are talking about when we talk about domestic cuts? guest: some of this is subject to the horse trading in congress, and the senate conferences between appropriations committee that have to do some logrolling to make things happen, but that is where they have the most impact. host: let me go back to this pie
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chart and there is another component. the remaining program areas -- that is a breakdown of the federal budget. we are talking about domestic spending and what is on the table in the so-called fiscal cliff talks. charles clark is our guest. the me show you what president obama had to say yesterday in michigan. where he is on the tax rates. [video clip] when you put it all together, if you need a package that kids taxes where they are for middle-class families -- that keeps taxes where they are for middle-class families, make some cuts some things we do not need,
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and then asked wealthier americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. that is a principle but i will not compromise on because i will not have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me get to keep our tax rates, and then we are asking students to pay higher student loans, were suddenly, a school does not have school books because the school district cannot afford it, or some family with a disabled kid is not getting the help they need through medicaid. host: here is how the speaker's office responded yesterday -- host: amy. indiana. you are up first. caller: good morning, mr. clark.
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019 look at the spending and how it has increased in the path -- when i look at the spending and how it has increased in the last four years -- under president bush, the annual budget was $2.5 trillion a year and under mr. obama it has gone up to $3.5 trillion a year. it sequestration went into effect with the spending cuts, would it take us back to the bush-level? during the bush-level, all of the parks were opened, that teachers had plenty of books, there were plenty of border control and the fbi security, and all the things were going along just great.
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so, these sequestration cuts, do they take us back to the bush-level, where do they take us back to something like the eisenhower-level, where we really did not have a lot of those modern federal bureaucracies? guest: the government grows a little bit by inertia as population grows and people demand more services, but also during the bush era, a lot more was borrowed. the war in afghanistan and the war in iraq were put on a separate budget, and no revenues were raised for that. the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts created some jobs, but also drove the deficit up a little bit. it is true that president obama has added another third to the national debt, and some of that
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is his priorities such as the health care law, and some of that is also because of the recession in the stimulus package. that was considered emergency spending. there have been deficit reductions in the past couple of years, and this is one of the bones of contention in the fiscal cliff talks -- whether to count about $1.5 trillion that were signed into law in the last year in the budget control act because the republicans would like to start with a baseline of new cuts, and the obama people would say they have already given time to raise revenue. host: of the white house proposal on domestic spending -- 1-year deferral of sequestration and a multi-share stimulus package. from twitter, what do you consider domestic spending?
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is spending and the structure spending or investment in our future? guest: i would call it spending in the short term. in the long term, it creates jobs, and it avoids safety expenses, such as when the bridge collapse in minnesota 3 or four years ago. that is the thing about government programs. if you plan reductions, it seems to be more cost-effective. there is more certainty in the projection of when the budget will shrink, but when it is started, there can be arbitrary cuts in some of that can be wasteful. host: ruby. north carolina. democratic caller. caller: yes, i have a question. unemployment, the extension is set to expire on december 29. what is the likelihood of that been extended?
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guest: that is a good question. we have headed for two years. republicans tend to be skeptical because there is a feeling that it discourages people from accepting jobs that are less desirable than the ones they hope for. the democrats would argue that it puts spending money in people's pockets, which helps the economy and the unemployment weekly payment is not enough to make anyone comfortable and lazy, but it does cost money. so, that is one of the many things in the fiscal cliff discussions that we also have to deal with. the social security payroll tax holiday that we have had for two years -- they have to decide whether to extend that by december 31, and there is also the issue of the alternative minimum tax, which is designed to make sure that everybody pays something in income tax,
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especially among the wealthy who might use deductions to bring their tax payments down to zero. the problem is the alternative minimum tax has been affecting more and more middle-class people, and the irs in particular is eager for congress to take a stand on patching up the minimum tax by december 31 because mostly they have to program their computers. host: the amt was part of our series on the different aspects of the fiscal cliff talks. you can go to our web site to find more details. today, the discussion is about domestic spending. if sequestration happens at the end of the month, and we are talking about $500 billion in
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domestic spending across the board, right, charles clark? guest: $500 billion over 10 years. $38 billion would be in 2013. host: when people say across- the board, automatic, what does that mean? guest: agencies have these accounts, and there are about 1200 of them, and the managers have not been permitted by the obama-care administration to map out exactly how and 8.2% cut, which is about the equivalent of a 12% cut because the fiscal year is about one- quarter old by the time they kick in, so it is more abrupt than people think. these program project activity accounts, each would have to be cut by 8.2%, and only last week did the obama administration give permission to the pentagon
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and other agencies to start publicly discussing and calculating exactly how many people, programs and services might have to be current. host: right wing on twitter -- "how much of the federal budget increased over the last 10 years?" guest: 10 years -- the budget is $3.5 billion now. i think it is one-third higher than it was that during the bush administration, but i would have to go back to the clinton era. i would have to look that up. host: from twitter, c-dog wants to know what percentage of welfare and snap make up the budget? 13% of safety net programs -- is sitting at programs. the virginia. michael. caller: first, i want to say hello to mr. clarke, you and everybody at "washington
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journal." i have a question. why can't congress and senate to pass a bill to make horse -- called the u.s. enterprise course, put it on the track, let it run, take the money, put it into a fund and make a united states lottery. host: i am not sure where you are going with that. surely. texas. republican caller. caller: everything that is wrong with this country can go right back to congress because of their foolishness.
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here in west texas, we have built a $100 million high- speed, high-tech bridge into mexico. mexico was supposed to finish the bridge on their side. we finished our part on this side, and even added an extra $10 billion in the last few months to build a big kiosk, and mexico has remade the unbuilding their side of the bridge because it is driving into the heart of a cartel- country, southeast of el paso. here is $110 billion for this stupid bridge into mexico, in the most remote part of texas. it will never be used by americans, and mexico have said they deemed it too dangerous,
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driving right into the heart of cartel country. it is stuff like that that goes on and on, and you could do that with every congress. host: charles clark, thoughts on that? guest: the war on drugs is nowhere near as successful as anybody hoped it would be, and a lot of money that has been spent on it, people feel it has not produced results, but i suppose they have to keep trying, and i would say the same thing about border protection. they have abandoned the plan for the electronic fence across the border, but they have reduced the number of illegal crossings, so there is progress there. host: in our list of examples of cuts that could happen under sequestration, customs and border control looking at some
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of the $12 million less to spend. -- looking at $712 million less to spend. they're trying to come to a grand bargain deal to avoid these cuts and, with a bigger deal. on that point, we have been tracking all of this, the events in washington, news conferences, the twitter feed from reporters. go to our web site, c- "the baltimore sun" this morning --
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for his part, john boehner -- host: georgia. democratic caller. what do you think? caller: i think the first issue we should look at is revenue. the other states have not developed enough revenue because of our import taxes are so much smaller than those of countries like china. and in turn today -- 8 report was done on comparative tax, and they support 20% of their
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federal government through import taxes. why is it that we feel we cannot compete with a country that is taxing us heavily on our imports, yet when they export to our country we have just 1.9% next that is ridiculous. it is not a level playing field -- 1.9%? that is ridiculous. that is not a level playing field. an in tern in indiana did this research. guest: there is the risk of a
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trade war, a violation of the world trade organization pact. a lot of the big box stores rely on inexpensive imports. so it would be a trade-off. it would have an impact on the prices. host: winchester, ohio. thomas is an independent. caller: thanks for taking my call. i watch c-span all the time. i'm curious why this continuation of the republican versus democrat bashing goes on when there is such an important issue that needs to be taken care of in this country. why is there not a federal sales tax to take care of some of this debt that we have increased needlessly, in many respects? it's just like the lottery and when it first came out, to finance the school system. they get a bunch of money and the next thing you know it is all going to administrative costs, 80 percent of it. why does more money not go to where it was originally designated? guest: a couple years ago there was talk about considering the
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european style, value added tax where items are taxed at each stage from manufacturing to wholesale to retail. it seems relatively painless, but one of the reasons the republicans don't want that is because it is almost too painless. they feel it would be, an atm machine for the government. they think they could keep track of tax better without a value added tax. many tax experts think it's a good idea. host: laura, republican caller from lansing, michigan. caller: yes, all these deductions and cuts and things, i have never seen anything done to ceo pay, which is exorbitant. i think possibly we could
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recuperates a money if we took a minuscule amount from wall street, a half cent for trade or something. i liked the two person discussion you had yesterday, reminded me of c-span of old. i would like to see legislators get paid for the hours they work, nor for they are there for a couple days and then they are gone and then they go talk to their constituents and they'll come back with a sun tan. so we know their constituents are all in florida. guest: with ceo pay, years ago there was a tax on any salary over $1 million. that was abolished in the george bush era. there is a new say on pay provision in the dodd-frank financial reform law that gives shareholders a little more veto power over the ceo's pay
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package. there's not much congress can do on that is directly because if the private sector. the tax on stock trades, there's a proposal for that. this has been tried in other countries. ralph nader just offered a detailed plan for that. host: when you look at sequestration and automatic spending cuts for domestic spending, $500 billion over 10 years, how deep a cut is that in domestic spending compared to years passed when spending cuts -- on spending cuts or other negotiations? guest: it would be endorsed cuts historical with the possible exception of right after gramm-rudman in the late-
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1980s there may have been some cuts around 8% or 9%. one thing i should point out is parts of the budget that are protected from sequestration would still suffer because if there were furloughs and reduction of force, it is scary. host: federal workers, what happens to them under sequestration? guest: in the budget negotiations, the current federal pay freeze is a big bone of contention the republicans would like to continue. they would like to require federal employees to pay a bigger share into their retirement plans. but an individual souring cannot be in docked under sequestration -- an individual's salary. many interest groups are very wary of sequestration and warning against it and have made the case they have already contributed $100 billion over 10 years in pay freeze and pay
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cuts. host: charlie clark is a senior executive with government executive media. now, a call from illinois. caller: i wanted to ask if -- it does not sound like the numbers of all the cuts over the next 10 years is anywhere near what the high cost of it going up even more trillions, whether we are at war or not. it just seems like such a little amount of money over 10 years versus the amount of money that is going to be rising just because or world costs and costs in general. it's not going to put very much evident in the problem. guest: you are right. their $16 trillion in public debt. on the other hand we have had a public debt for much of our
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history. if the economy is growing and the debt is on a downward trajectory and people can live with that, i'd think the idea is to, with about $4 trillion over the next 10 years and make a down payment on its and then hope that the economy starts scoring and quarterly growth stepped up to 5% and then you bring in a lot more revenue. -- hope that the economy starts roaring. host: david is an independent caller from montana. caller: there never really have been any cuts. there have been some reductions in increases. the situation we are in, president bush, as the politicians were talking, they said you drove this thing into the ditch and increased our debts and so forth. president obama took that vehicle and drove it off the cliff.
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we talk about the clip that we are going to go over. we are already over that cliff. what we need to do is somehow climb back up out of it. the way it's looking, the way they have this government split up now, i don't think they will ever do it, because's policy is divided and conquered. you cannot do it that way. -- because obama's policy is divide and conquer. guest: i think there will be pressure for years to come to keep spending down. host: on twitter -- guest: there are laws. they require agencies to spend
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only within the program parameters that they are authorized by congress. it's also true that congress has never been able to submit a balanced budget because there's a reluctance for political reasons to raise taxes and a lot of these spending programs are popular, which is why the term of "waste, fraud, and abuse" is popular, because it sounds like there are many expensive items everybody would agree are wasteful and why don't we just eliminate them? but when it comes to them, they are somebody's baby. host: the ranking democrat in the house appropriations committee outlined these cuts. all the different programs, the domestic cuts. what happens to the appropriators in the process? guest: they are nowhere near as powerful as they used to be back in the days of lyndon johnson with the appropriators could get dams built or not in
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someone's district and it was done behind closed doors. host: what are the appropriators? guest: the congressional budget process was updated in 1974 and task of annual spending bills organized by topic. the authorizing committees, which are all the other committees in congress deal with subject matter and details and how a program should operate, and then they nominate an a proximate spending levels. the and the appropriators have to come and rejigger all that. it's why they're so popular and get lobbied by other members of congress to keep spending up in certain areas in the region. because of the political splits, congress has had continuing resolutions which is they don't have a budget agreement by a deadline and then they have to reauthorize everything for certain levels for the next year.
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which is what happened during these fiscal cliff discussions. in september, congress agreed the government would be funded through march 27 of 2013, up to current levels, which, thankfully, at least that was taken off the table, that the government would shut down. host: what does it mean for earmarks? are they relevant anymore? guest: they are still done, but under different names. during the political campaign it was pointed out that congressman paul ryan had responded to a couple constituents' requests for grant funding in his home district as part of the stimulus package that paul ryan had voted against. they did pass resolutions banning your marks. so there does less flagrant. host: sandy, a republican caller in virginia. thanks for waiting. hello?
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p in long island city, new york, independent. -- pete. caller: my opinion is, i believe the president actually wants to go off the cliff. i really do. i think he really wants to tax the rich no matter if the derickson pour or not and before we cut any social programs in this country we should stop giving aid to countries that hate us. -- he wants to tax the original matter if it hurts the poor. guest: senator patty murray says going off the cliff might be preferable to signing a bad deal. i think president obama felt a little burned from the 2011 budget talks with john boehner, so he is driving a harder line, having won reelection.
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the idea of letting the tax rate on the top 2% go up is not really a surprise. i think everybody agrees that he campaigned on that. there are millions of people who voted for him that are expecting that to happen. host: the style section of the washington post has a piece about the director of legislative affairs at the white house, rob neighbors. what is his job? guest: behind closed doors, the staff members have a lot more influence because some of the budget issues are so minuscule and then the legislative issues
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have to be drafted in legislative language. when there are no cameras or microphones, the negotiators are really talking turkey about what concessions can you live with and how can i sell this to my based? he has to be an honest broker and he has to keep lwaks forget -- leaks from getting in the press or no one would trust him. he does not let things get in the press the next day. host: he has to go to the white house and say this is what they are saying, this is what they can deal with. guest: yes. in the past when the negotiations happened in 1990, it comes down to a few people in a room. this is not considered democratic by many rank-and- file. host: he has to go to the white house and say this is what they are saying, this is whatyear frr
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sanders in vermont saying we have our own ideas but when we are up against a deadline and the clock is ticking, it often boils down to sometimes a group of eight, as in what happened in 1990. sometimes it might just be president obama and john boehner. host: that's what we have now. now, bernie, a democratic caller. caller: i receive disability, social security disability. i was wondering how much of a cut would they be taking? i really depends on it. guest: i don't think it would be issues have to be drafted in legislative language. when there are no cameras or microphones, the negotiators are really talking turkey about what concessions can you live with and how can i sell this to cut . in the long term there is and what might come out of this budget deal is a commission to review social security. it is true that social security disability program has a backlog of reviews by an administrative judge is right now. so there's a little concerned that some undeserving people are getting the payments. so that is something that will be examined over the next couple years. i don't think your benefits will be cut next year due to sequestration. host: tomorrow we will focus on social security and some
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different proposals for addressing that and the overall fiscal cliff tops. another tweet -- is that possible? guest: congress always waits till the last minute and they often kick the can down the road. but for the last couple years everything was waiting for the next election. now the election has come and gone. so you see some movement on the republican side. their real goal is entitlement reform. maybe if we get this tax rate controversy out of the way, then there can be a real grand bargain that both parties could take to their voters with some stake in host: it charlie parker, thank you. guest: guy to be here. >> the u.s. house meets this
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afternoon to negotiate with the senate on defense department programs and policy for the next year. we will have live coverage at noon eastern and then back at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the senate is debating today to continue an fdic program for certain accounts as a part of the banking crisis response. right now, it is general speeches. see the senate live on c-span to. negotiations continue on the fiscal cliff. this morning, negotiations and how they were going. host: let's begin with what is business forward? guest: it is an organization with a very simple mission. our job is to try to make it easier for business leaders are around the country to speak out
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on issues of public policy. host: is this a brand-new organization? guest: we have been around for about three and a half years. our target market our business leaders around the country. we try to get them more involved in the policy-making process. we bring administration officials, members of congress out to cities across the country to do briefings with business leaders and then we bring those business leaders to washington to tell them how to grow jobs and how to recover. what do the business leaders say to the president? guest: we have brought 50 plus different groups to the white house to talk to the president's economic advisers.
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we have brought about 370 business leaders representing 32 different states. the message they are giving is pretty consistent with simpson- bowles and how the business boys has been characterized in the media. they went certainty as quickly as possible. the question is which plan is closest to simpson-bowles ny. host: here is the hill newspaper -- guest: well, [indiscernible] what we do is bring business leaders from around the country
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to brief the president and his economic team, on health care reform to immigration reform, the fiscal cliff, intellectual property protection. and the business leaders are speaking for themselves. generally speaking, business leaders are centrists, data driven, results oriented. they are looking for compromise in washington. is it a pro-obama group or republican? it is really its own group. host: who are some of the names people might recognize, the ceo's of which companies? guest: the efforts the white house has made this year is much larger and much more effective than it was last year. they are bringing in more people with business ford but with a lot of other organizations as well. the president spoke with financial services leaders and
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has brought in two groups of big-name ceos. -- the president has spoken with business forward. six out of 10 per ceo's of small companies. -- tend to be ceo's of small companies. smaller investors, smaller business owners. host: what are the members concerns with the fiscal cliff stocks? guest: for most small-business owners and senior executives at big companies, the fear is that going over the cliff, even on a technical term, will increase their borrowing costs and will put our economic recovery at risk. most business leaders point to simpson-bowles. they understand that we have to raise revenue and we also have
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to control spending. they generally like the outlines of the simpson-bowles deal, the principles behind it. spread the cost, protect the most vulnerable, don't disrupt the economic recovery, try to simplify the tax code. they generally support those principles. host: do they believe a recession could happen if we fall off the so called "fiscal cliff?" guest: they do. what we saw last year is business leaders were concerned that washington was not going to come together with a deal. and that it could end badly, but it was a more muted concern. they just trusted washington would get it done. given how quickly things happened last time, they are taking a much more active role. business leaders have come to washington to require a minimum height standard for the ride of the fiscal cliff. they want to make sure that
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members of either party who are speaking out are as close as possible to simpson-bowles. talk about real cuts, about real revenue. it's much more and ownership in the process this time. host: where does your group come down on regulations? guest: our job is to go out and get business leaders around the country more involved. the business leaders speak for themselves. business leaders are generally extremely influential in their home markets. there are the kind of people if that can give a member of congress moderate republican or moderate democratic calls on tougher votes. those leaders are increasingly concerned about what going on in washington and they want to get more involved. we also know that technology is developing, social media and all the rest, which makes it easier for someone on route 128 in boston or savannah, georgia, to have a bigger impact. we are seeing the issues are
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increasingly coming down to a tough choices, tough choices of business leaders. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> we are a moment away from the u.s. house gaveling in for the day and the week, this afternoon members are expected to negotiate with the senate on defense the bargain programs and policy for the next year. will have live coverage in just a moment them t. now live to the house floor here on c-span. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker: the house will be in order. pursuant to the order of the house of january 17, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one
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hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall the debate continue beyond 1:50 p.m. today. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house, mr. boehner, for five minutes. the speaker: mr. speaker, last week republicans made a serious offer to avert the fiscal cliff, and most of it was based on testimony given last year by president clinton's former chief of staff, erskine bowles. and as mr. bowles himself said on sunday, we have to cut spending. well, he's right. washington has a spending problem. let's be honest. we're broke. and the plan that we've offered
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is consistent with the president's call for a balanced approach. a lot of people know that the president and i met on sunday. it was a nice meeting. it was cordial. we're still waiting for the white house to see what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the balanced approach that he promised the american people. where are the president's spending cuts? the longer the white house slow walks this process the closer our economy gets fought fiscal cliff. -- gets to the fiscal cliff. here's what we know. we know that the president wants more stimulus spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms. that's not fixing our problem. frankly, it's making it worse. on top of that, the president wants to raise taxes on many small business owners. now, even if we did exactly what the president wants, we would see red ink as far as the
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eye can see. that's not fixing our problem either. it's making it worse and it's hurting our economy. i think the members know i'm an optimist. i'm hopeful we can reach an agreement. this is a serious issue and there's a lot at stake. the american people sent us here to work together toward the best possible solution and that means cutting spending. if the president doesn't agree with our approach, he's got an obligation to put forward a plan that can pass both chambers of the congress because right now the american people have to be scratching their heads and wondering when is the president going to get serious. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. altmire, for five minutes. mr. altmire: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize victor decarlo for receiving the national order of the french legion of honor, the highest declaration that france bestows
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for meritorious service. i want to recognize him for his unwavering service to his country during world war ii and it's truly a privilege to honor a constituent who so exemplifies patriotism and the american spirit. established by napoleon bonaparte in 1482, it's a merit based distinction. the order's motto, honor and fatherland, reaffirms the celebration of patriotism and service for its recipients. victor decarlo was drafted into the army two months after he graduated from pittsburgh shindly high school in 1944. he arrived in france in 1945 and was assigned the responsibility of aiding the allied forces in reversing gains made by the german army. he first saw combat in the most -- in a region by helping forces breaking through the
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infamous siegfried line, a 390-mile defense system set up by the german army along the country's western border that consisted tank traps and manned bunkers. after successfully breaking through the siegfried line, he headed north to the famous battle of the bulge. he also saw combrat during the rhineland region throughout the duration of world war ii. he helped two concentration camps, one in as you tria and one in germany. victor was awarded the bronze star by the united states for his committed meritorious service to his country during world war ii, a fitting honor for a patriot of victor's caliber. and this year on september 27, 2012, victor added another declaration when he was awarded the french legion of honor
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during a ceremony here in washington, d.c. at the french embassy. he was given the honor for his military service and helping to secure the liberation of france. the determination, bravery and selflessness of victor decarlo and so many like him is why we consider his generation the greatest. after the war, victor returned home, earning an engnoorg degree at tristate college in indiana and worked until his retirement at westinghouse in 1989. he and his wife have five children, 13 grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. i ask my colleagues to join me in celebrating an individual who is emblem attic of the greatest war, world war ii. it's truly an honor to slare victor's story with my colleagues again today. i want to commend victor decarlo for his commitment to his country and congratulate him on being awarded the
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prestigious national honor of the french liege only of honor. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes another member from the great state of ohio, mr. turner, for five minutes. mr. turner: thank you, mr. speaker. i am here today to extend my sincere and best wishes as five of my fellow ohioans will be leaving the house after the adjournment of this congress. ohioans benefited from the service of steve latourette, who occupies the speaker's chair today, representatives dennis kucinich, betty sutton and steve augsrya. i want to thank steve latourette for his leadership and guidance in congress. i have had a privilege to working with my colleagues in support of our fellow buckeyes and americans. their service will not end with this congress. their innovative ideas and selfless service will be felt long after they leave the people's house. i look forward to their future roles as ohioans committed to advancing the interests of our communities, our state and our
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great country. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, the minority leader, ms. pelosi, for five minutes. ms. pells: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i -- ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i'm glad that our speaker has brought the fiscal challenges to this floor. it's been long overdue. we have been calling on the speaker to bring forth middle-income tax cut now for a very long time. in fact, since last summer when it passed the united states senate. the president stands ready and poised with his pen to sign it. democrats in the house have a discharge petition to bring that bill to the floor. what stands in the way is an act on the part of the republican majority to bring a middle-income tax cut to the floor of the house. which across the country has almost universal support and which i think in this body,
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given the right to vote for it would have overwhelming support. up until know, everybody in the country, in pact in the world, have been talking about what's going to happen, those who pay attention to such matters, what's going to happen to the -- in the budget debate in the congress and with the president . at last that subject comes to the floor. what i would respond to what the speaker has said, though, is to set the record straight. the fact is that the president has and democrats agree with him agreed to over $1.6 trillion in cuts. in the budget control act and other acts of congress in this particular congress. $1.6 trillion in cuts. where are the cuts? they're in bills that you, mr. speaker, have voted for. secondly, on the issue of the entitlements, with the
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affordable care act and with legislation and the president's suggestions, provisions in the president's budget, it amounts to over $1 trillion in savings in medicare. over $1 trillion in savings which have been redirected to prolonging the life of medicare, making it stronger for nearly a decade while increasing benefits for our seniors and those who depend on medicare. not reducing but increasing them. there's been a massive misrepresentation about what that is, so i want to set the record straight. so in terms of spending cuts, we're on the record having voted for over -- about $1.6 trillion. in terms of entitlement reform, over $1 trillion already and more savings to be gained in further discussions on the subject. strong down payment. what is missing are two
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elements that the president put forth in his budget -- growth, investments in infrastructure. yes, the president has called for investments in infrastructure, to build the infrastructure of america and to create jobs, to grow our economy. and where are the revenues? where are the revenues? regardless of the cuts, the changes in entitlements, more is demanded in terms of what seniors would have to pay into medicare and at what age that would happen while the republicans refuse to touch one hair on the head of the wealthiest people in our country. the public overwhelming, 2:1, supports the president's initiative for extending the middle-income tax cuts whereby 100% -- 100% of u.s. taxpayers get a tax cut.
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above $250,000, people making more than $250,000 a year will be asked to pay a little more to pay for the fiscal soundness of our country, to pay for our country, the support of our troops. the pillars of security for our seniors. the education of our children. for the safety of our neighborhoods. this is just asking them to pay a little bit more while they continue to get the same tax cuts that everyone does. 100% of the american people get a tax cut, the upper 2% are asked to pay a little bit more. so i thank the speaker for finally at least uttering the words on the floor of the house about what is -- what the decisions are that need to be made. again, we committed to the cut. we acted upon the entitlements. the president has more in his
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budget. all of this would be a down payment for as we go forward into the next session of congress to talk about tax simplification and fairness, how we can have lower rates while plugging up loopholes and having a tax code that is -- encourages growth in our country. but that's along the discussion. as we address the issue of how we strengthen our entitlements, not by diminishing benefits but by getting more for what we are spending. so social security, any changes in social security should be left to strengthen social security. if it's medicare, any changes should be there to strengthen medicare, not to underwrite and subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country. so, again, i welcome the speaker's statement that he wants to solve the problem. the president has put forth his
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bufpblgt which has his initial -- budget which has his initiative in it. he said he's willing to make some changes, but it's really important that any changes not hurt the middle class. it comes right down to this. again, i've said it's not about the price of the high-end tax cuts. it's about the money that it generates. . it is not to burden the middle income in order to have bigger tax cuts at the high end. those high-end tax cuts only increase the deficit. they have not created jobs. it's simply unfair and it doesn't work. so hopefully the clock is ticking, we are getting closer to the holidays, and that means closer to the end of the year, which is fraught with meaning in terms of time and the rest of this.
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i don't think there's any reason for us not to come to the table to make an agreement, to give confidence to consumers in this holiday season, to the markets at their end of the year decisions so that we will have the growth, the growth, the jobs that produce revenue, that job, that approach is the way to reduce -- reduce the deficit. create jobs to reduce the deficit. want to fix the deficit? grow the economy and do so in a way that makes responsible cuts , strong investments for our seniors, pillars of economic security for them and for their families. it is not a time to inject even more uncertainty into the lives of the american people and the economy of our country and what that means globally. it simply isn't the time. many of these ideas are bad at any time, but they are particularly harmful at this time. so again, i thank the speaker for bringing the issue finally
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to the floor of the house of representatives. i look forward to how we can move quickly because time is of the essence and every day that we can remove all doubt about the full faith and credit of the united states of america, our investments in the future, our creation of jobs, and our respect and support for the economic -- and help the security of our seniors. every day we can do that, put more quickly, is a good day. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. scott, for five minutes. mr. scott: thank you. ladies and gentlemen of america, every day i'm on the floor i can't help but be reminded facts are a stubborn thing and i simply want to talk with you about the fact today. you see the president and the democratic leadership spent the last four years blaming george
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bush for driving our economy into the ditch. now as president obama drives our economy toward the fiscal cliff, i'd like to share with you some remarks he made during his fiscal responsibility summit held on february 23, 2009, at the white house. the president said, and i quote, we cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. contrary to the prevailing wisdom in washington, these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and to further consequences to the nks budget. the next administration or the next generation. we are paying the price for this budget right now. he continued, in 2008 alone we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt. one in every 10 taxpayer dollars. that is more than three times what we spent on education that year, more than seven times what we spent on v.a. health care. if we can fraught this crisis without confronting the deficit that caused it, we end up sifpking into another crisis down the road as our interest
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payments rise and obligations come due. our children and grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they are saddled with our debts. that's why today i'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office. this will not be easy. it will require making difficult decisions and face challenges we have long neglected but i refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay. that means taking responsibility for it right now. in this administration for getting our spending, our spending, ladies and gentlemen, under control. i end the quote, let's do the math, mr. speaker. the deficit that the president is talking about is this 1.4, $1.4 trillion is the deficit that he's talking about. now, according to his own proposal, if he gets all the tax increases that he's asked for, i want to make this clear, his revenue estimate right here assumes he gets the tax increases that they are asking for, you still have a $900
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billion deficit, ladies and gentlemen. he promised it wouldn't be any dinger than $700 billion. that means that the president owes the american taxpayer, $200 billion in cuts, not over the course of 10 years but over this year right now, the fiscal year 2013 that we are in. mr. speaker, the president made a pledge to cut spending, not to the republican members of congress. he doesn't even speak with us, if you want to know the truth of the matter. he made a pledge to cut spending to the citizens of the united states of america. to the citizens of the united states of america. so that our children and grandchildren would be able to pursue their dreams instead of being saddled with our debts. mr. speaker, a pledge from the president of the united states should mean something. instead, his plan, his plan in his budget, assuming his tax
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increases, leaves our children and grandchildren with a debt of more than $21 trillion much -- trillion. and that, ladies and gentlemen, is something we simply cannot allow him to do to our country and our children. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield the well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognize another fine gentleman from the state of georgia, mr. woodall, for five minutes. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the time. i appreciate the words of my colleague from georgia. he was the president of this freshman class that the american people elected in 2010, about 99 new members, mostly republicans, but democrats as well, one of the largest freshmen classes we had in history. and i remember when the president spoke those words that my colleague from georgia just quoted, what he said, by the end of his first term he
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was going to cut the deficit in half. and i remember chuckling a little bit, thinking, what a low bar to set. having run such a huge campaign as he ran in 2007 and 2008, just to cut the deficit in half. i thought, can't we do better? i didn't realize at the time, of course, we were going to begin during the obama administration running the highest budget deficit in american history, formerly the bush deficits had been the highest. of the course the president, president obama took those deficits not just to that level, twice that level, three times that level, but almost four times the level of what was formerly the highest deficit in american history. this campaign, mr. speaker, he said that he spent the entire campaign campaigning on raise ing taxes on the 1%. he said i have a mandate to do that because i talked about that for two years and folks elected me president. they did. and painfully, mr. speaker, that's not a new idea.
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i show you here this red line represents the tax burden shall the bills the top 1% of america played. this blue line represents the bills that the 80% of the rest of us pay. and it goes back to 1979. and jimmy carter, you see, every single president in my lifetime has gone with that tried and true formula asking the top 1% to pay more. every president in high lifetime has gone with the tried and true formula telling the american voter they can have all the government they want, they won't have to pay for it. as we sit here today, mr. speaker, the last year for which the congressional budget office has budget numbers, 80% of america, the bottom 80% of america, most of us, pays only 6% of the income tax burden in america. 80% of us pays 6% of the burden. the top 1% today are paying 39% of the burden. mr. speaker, raising taxes on people is easy. in fact, if we give the president every nickel he wants in tax increases, it doesn't
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even solve one month of deficits in this congress. not one month. in fact, it solves about 2/3 of one month. that's if we don't spend any of it. as the minority leader just said, he wants to spend a lot of it on investment in this country. so this whole discussion, this whole business of tax increases that the president spent two years building a mandate for solves less than one month of the problem. mr. speaker, my challenge today to the white house, to my friends on the left, make it hard on me as a freshman conservative. make it hard. lay out those tax increases right beside solutions to the real problem which is spending. and make those spending reductions so large and so powerful and so helpful to the american economy that i'll have no choice but to agree to your tax increases so we can save the country by solving the real
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problem which is spending. there's no leadership, mr. speaker, in raising taxes on the 1%. we have been doing it for a long, long time. the problem in this town is spending and we have yet to see the leadership from the white house on that problem. if we give them everything they want, it solves less than one month of the deficit. we, republicans and democrats, congress and the white house, owe the american people so much better. let's not kick the can down the road. let's do it right now in these discussions. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. it -- the chair recognizes the
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gentleman from ohio for five minutes. mr. latourette: i want to thank the speaker very much. i hadn't planned on talking, but as i conclude my service here in the united states congress, every time somebody doms down to the well -- comes down to the well and says they want to set the record straight, the record winds up looking like the behind end of my dog, the behind legs of my dog, very crooked. knowing a little bit about this and caring about this issue as everybody that serves in in this dong does, i really feel compelled -- in this congress does, i really feel compelled where we are. i'm heartened by the fact that both the speaker and minority leader spoke today about the need to come up with a solution. but last spring, a guy named jim cooper fromtown trnings member from tennessee and i, offered in response to the budget resolutions that were going on, something called simpson-bowles.
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simpson-bowles is also known as the fiscal commission, appointed by president obama, to look at the nation's problems, fiscal problems and come up with a set of recommendations. the fact is that even though it was president obama's commission, he has not sought to implement one of the recommendses, because why? because the recommendations are tough. there's a lot of tough love. you don't get into a situation as a country where you owe $16 trillion and not have a solution that involves some difficulty and sacrifice. but included in there, and sadly when you listen to the news accounts and you listen to some of the comments on the floor, the rhetoric is those mean, nasty, nasty, mean republicans are so interested in protecting the rich people in this country that they are not willing to increase and ask them to give just a little bit more. well, as one republican who, in fact, says give the president the 2% of the rate increases he's looking for, but that
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doesn't solve the problem. i think as mr. woodall so eloquently indicated, i would come at it a different way, if you let the bush tax cuts expire and the top 2% of wage earners in this country, by the president's numbers, not my numbers, not some number pulled out of the campaign, it raises about $900 billion over 10 years. now, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer when it came to math when i was growing up, even i can do that, if you divide 900 by 10, you wind up with $90 billion a year. $90 billion a year. is enough to run the federal government for 11 days. the fiscal year around here ends on september 30. so the president's proposal in terms of sticking it to the rich people, making them pay a little bit more, gets you from the end of the fiscal year on september 30 to columbus day. then what? then what? and it completely ignores the
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fact that 2/3 of the federal budget, the federal budget is $3.6 trillion, 2/3 of the federal budget is what's called the middle class entitlements. so it's medicare, medicaid, social security, and the interest on the debt. those checks go out automatically. there is nothing any member of congress has to vote on. and unless you have a proposal, which simpson-bowles, was and is, you may hear the ads playing on the radio from the nation's c.e.o. and others saying, we can't play small ball, we got to come up with a package that actually heals the country. if there's a sadness that i had, run of the reasons i'm leaving, is if you listen to the people talking, the president's advisors are saying, going over the fiscal cliff, we are putting the republicans in this box on the 2%, that's good for the president. and you hear the democrats saying, wow, listen, if we can have this discharge petition and put the burden, make people not like republicans, that's good for the democratic party
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as we go forward. some people, quite frankly, in my party, the republican party, are saying, hey, listen, if we can paint the president and the democrats as tax and spenders, that's good for our party. mr. speaker, when are people going to stop thinking about what's good for themselves, good for their party, and start thinking about what's good for america? . what's good for america is we have to come together and solve this problem. not just taking that $90 billion, which really is not that much, but we have to reform our tax code and we have to look at the programs of social security and medicare, not to eviscerate them, not to have health care for people in this country, but to make those programs not only viable today but what about the people in their 40's and 30's and 20's? they did a survey of high school seniors and say, what
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are you more likely to see, social security or u.f.o.? more seniors picked the u.f.o. with some of the leadership around here, i am not surprised they picked the u.f.o. the fact of the matter is we can't play small ball. when cooper and i put this thing on the floor last spring it got 38 votes. 26 democrats and 12 republicans were willing to stand up and do this. it's time for the big deal and it's time for leadership and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 2:00 p.m.
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>> i think there was a moment where there was a possibility for change. and director lee hirsch and i decided to start the film out of that feeling that voices
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were bubbling up, coming up to the surface saying we can't accept this. >> filmmaker cynthia lowen has gathered essays and personal stories together in "bully" hear more saturday night at 10:00 in "afterwards" and find more book tv on line, like us on facebook. >> ohio and west virginia's secretaries of state on their state's loather i.d. laws took part in a pew center discussion on the 2012 election of the the state officials talk about how the voter i.d. laws work in their state and how it impacted the election. it's about an hour. >> two session this is afternoon. i think they both look really good. we are very fortunate to have the great panels we've got this afternoon and we have to end by 5:00 at the latest. i want to get started as quickly as possible. this panel we have brought
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together a series of experts and leaders in the field to talk about the issue of integrity versus access and elections where voter i.d. fits into all of this. and i don't think we could do better than the panel we have right now. i'll let orer our moderator introduce our panel, many of whom you'll recognize. with that let me introduce adam, supreme court correspondent for "the new york times." >> as david said, you guys are in for a treat. you really couldn't ask for a better panel to think through these issues how to balance integrity and access. i'm going to say a word about each of the panelists, their biographical material is available to you. then we'll hear brief presentations from each of them and a more general conversation and save time for your questions at the end. natalie tennant is the secretary of state in west virginia. she's the state's most
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transparent office holder. i'm literal minded so i half expected a ghost. more seriously she's also had more investigations and convictions for election violations than any other secretary in west virginia's history. maybe later on we can talk about what the data is and what kinds of problems election administrators face. and then hear from ground zero of the 2012 elections is secretary of state of ohio, jon husted, who has had a distinguished career before his current job in the ohio legislature as having served as speaker of the ohio house and a member of the ohio senate. and then finally, michael pitts, law proforcor at indiana university, specialist -- professor at indiana university, specialist in voting rights, former law clerk on the eighth circuit and attorney in the voting rights section of the civil rights division of the justice department. i think first we'll hear from secretary of state tenant --
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tennant. >> thank you. good afternoon, everyone. it is good to be here. i must say that as a secretary-elect i was here four years ago and honored to be back again and have the opportunity, and we are talking about insuring integrity and ballot access and voter access at the same time. what i was asked p to talk about what west virginia does and how we have our voter i.d. laws. and, yes, west virginia does have identification laws and many of them follow what many other states follow, especially when it comes to the help america vote act, and the requirements. i'll just give you a brief what it takes. the help america vote act, since we had our discussions today, this is a very bad thing from what i'm understanding. i am trying to get rid of this in west virginia. this is your mail-in voter registration yes, west virginia have identification laws and
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many of them follow what many other states follow, especially when it application. remember we don't like this paperwork. it costs about $6. i'd like to be able to have online voter registration as well that costs about $1 to be able to process. but the help america vote act requires, if you especially -- especially if you vote or register by mail and do not provide some type of photo identification, you have to provide that either mail it in or the first time you go vote you need to show that type of identification of who you are. or if you go in person to the clerk's office, you show identification through showing a copy of utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current residence address. so we require that in west virginia. and then when you go to vote in west virginia, time and time again, you do not show photo i.d. but you have to state some verification. you state your name, your address, and then you sign your name as your voter verification. so the question is, is that enough? is that enough of what we require? and i say yes, it is.
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and it has been for the last 10 years or so. and folks will say to me, natalie, doesn't west virginia have this reputation? i say, yes, west virginia does have this reputation of election fraud. as a matter of fact we just had three elected officials from southern west virginia who will be serving and are serving in federal prison. but in those cases stronger voter identification law would not have put a stop to what took place when they tried to manipulate the process of absentee voting. so for me this is the interesting part that comes together, because i was up for re-election in 2012, and i did not push for photo i.d. in west virginia. and because of that my opponent accused me of being soft on voter fraud. and so i had to laugh a little bit and i thought, you know what, i'm learning something here.
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they'll say anything in a political race, won't they? so i laugh about that because here i am, the toughest secretary of state that west virginia has ever seen when it comes to more investigations and more convictions for election law violations than any other in state history, and not just talking about this one particular county. we had a county commissioner who tried to vote twice. and we went after that person also. so my thought is, how can they say that? how can they say this about me? what is that distinction? here's what i think is an interesting prospect is that they say i'm light on voter fraud. when i say i'm very tough on election law violations. because as has been stated up here before, we see that voter fraud is very, very small when you go to the .000% that has been talked about. but certainly from the 2010 election where we had these
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investigations, we had candidate fraud, official fraud. so why do i tell you-all of this? i tell you-all this to give you a little bit of background. i tell you-all of this because for me this is where ensuring integrity and access to the ballot meet. right here. i have been and i have said before that you can be pro-voter, you can be pro-voter access and anti-election fraud at the same time. i have shown that and it's the history that we now have in west virgini and for me as secretary of state, for me as a chief election official, i see the big picture of what needs to be taking place when it comes to integrity for elections. it's just not one aspect. it's the larger picture that we have that comes into play. and for me, this is how i approach it as the most transparent office holder, i approach it as integrity is knowledge. or knowledge is integrity when
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it comes to elections. the way i put that into play is through the many different aspects through training of election officials, we have heard that talked about today, because if you have that knowledge and that understanding and well trained election officials from the ground up, from the poll worker to the county clerk to the state election officials, you will have that. making sure they are following the process. that's why we have put on line poll worker training for not just the poll workers but for anybody who is going in to vote. we have put videos on our website about the canvasing process, because that is another step in the checks and balances that take place. and voters and citizens of west virginia also have the knowledge that if you are trying to chip away at democracy, if you are trying to manipulate the process, you have a serious secretary of state who is going to look into that, and uphold the integrity of the process.
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and so all of that together, for me, comes together. we do online and in webcasts that are -- webcasts of our press conferences. we give folks knowledge that we have liaisons out and about on election day. but the reason i want to be so open and the reason that i want folks to know how the process takes place, because, yes, there are 55 counties in west virginia, but there are about 1,800 precincts and it's the voters on the frontlines and they have to be armed with this same knowledge where we work together and we have a bigger focus of the election pros serks the integrity of the election process. that's where i am on this. i'll sit down and listen to other folks and have any other questions and take questions as we go along. thanks. [applause] >> good afternoon, i'm jon husted, and i'm the ohio secretary of state.
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and i want to -- this idea of balancing access and accuracy i have one, i guess my best piece of advice is, if you want to find that balance and run a good controversy-free election, don't become a secretary of state in a swing state. it just presents multiple problems, and frankly it is politics that stands in the way of achieving that balance, not policy. it's the process of getting there that has been the biggest impediment for being where i think we should be in our state. and i'm going to explain to you the ohio experience. in 2011, not long after i was elected, i made a proposal that included a balanced approach, it had ideas from local boards of elections. it had ideas from my democratic predecessor. even had some ideas from pew in it. and we took this legislative package and we called it the election modernization
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balancing access and accuracy in ohio elections. and as a former speaker of the house i can tell you, i know how to run a bill through the legislative process. i checked all the boxes. we know how to sell a reform package. we went to the lenl leadership of both parties -- legislative leadership of both parties. we visited individually of all the committee members from both mills parties in the house and senate and we eventually got our package to be endorsed by every major newspaper in the state. what could go wrong, right? well, this is what happened. we had this bipartisan plan, a it began to travel through the legislative process, partisan bickering broke out and both sides wanted to see that the scales were tilted in their favor. there were claims of voter fraud that needed to be dealt with, charges of voter suppression emerged, a separate photo i.d. bill emerged out of those harsh discussions that
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excited the situation. amendments were introduced, and it threw off this balance. at that point in time it eventually passed on party lines. the legislature being controlled by republicans in ohio immediately after that the democrats and the obama for america campaign filed petitions to put it up to a referendum. they got enough petitions. and then eventually the republican legislature repealed it at my suggestion because it was becoming too -- just the rhetoric was too heated. we needed to start over and we needed to avoid the cost of a referendum. that's what happened during the course of a year-long battle trying to find that balance between access and accuracy. and balancing that reform in ohio. eventually we had no reform. the damage was done. it set off partisan flames that continue through 2012.
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and even spawned a -- if there was one moment of bipartisan agreement, we did pass a military voter bill during that process that had an amendment in it that shut down early voting during the saturday-sunday, and monday before the election so that the boards of elections would have time to accommodate all of the early votes that they expected to be cast. it passed on a unanimous basis. an eventually it blew up and became the first of eight federal lawsuits that we experienced in ohio. so even our moments of bipartisan agreement ended up blowing up in the end over the desire for both political parties and their allies to achieve victory in terms of tilting the scales in their favor. finding that balance on policy
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note is really not that hard. honestly reasonable people can find a way to balance access and accuracy. the hard part is political. and i will tell you that election reform efforts, the partisan forces have stood in the way of this in our state and i think that they will in every swing state because it's not just the people in your state that get involved, it's the people from across the country that decide from places in washington and other places that because of your swing state's status they don't like your rules. and they participate. but voting is really a culture of a state. if you want to have confidence in it, it has to come from both sides, it has to come from within. people have to believe in that process. and it's different in all of our states. there were a loft outrageous claims during the legislative process in our elections
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process in ohio. but if you are talking about that balance, what are the two big charges? suppression and fraud. those are the two charges you hear. well, charges of voter suppression in ohio i'll give you a few of them. it said that basically we were preventing -- our rules prevented people from having easy access to vote. here's what the rules are. you decide whether this is correct. for the first time every single voter in our state received an absentee ballot request mailed to their home, that was nearly seven million voters. every voter had nearly 35 days to vote without ever leaving their house. apartment or wherever they might have lived. over that 35-day period, early voting, vote centers were opened week days from 8:00 to 5:00 for the first three weeks, 8:00 to 7:00 the last two weeks. contrast this with the fact three of our neighboring states, not west virginia, natalie, don't have -- have
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zero days of early no fault voting. i think can -- you can see it's pretty easy to vote in ohio. you have more than a month to do it. when you consider the fact, consider this voting schedule enthe fact that a record 1.8 million votes were cast i believe that reasonable people will conclude that it's pretty easy to vote in ohio and suppression was not an issue. what about fraud? let's define it. what is fraud? you have the legal definition and the political definition of what fraud is. for example, if a student from the kentucky is going to college in ohio and decided to vote there and the presidential election isn't close in their state even though they are a kentucky resident, is that fraud? under ohio law, it's not. what about the guy from massachusetts that drove his r.v. and lived in his sister's driveway and decided to register and vote 35 days in the election because he just decided he wanted to be an ohio resident for a while.
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is that illegal? not under ohio law. what about if you show up with your i voted today sticker and you receive free pizza or food for casting your ballot that day. is that voter fraud? under ohio law, it's not. but yet there are a lot of people who believe it is or it should be. but what if you vote twice? is that fraud? i think under ohio law we would declare it to be fraud and most people think it is. and we had hundreds of cases where this happened. at least they are being investigated or reviewed right now. but the important thing i want folks to remember is the running away with this story is that they didn't actually have their vote counted twice, they tried to vote twice and our system caught it. so the bottom line is, is that the rhetoric doesn't match the reality of what the rules are in many cases. it is very easy to vote in our state. and also fraud is a very rare
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-- is a very rare occurrence. and let me just say that for us to move forward in the situation that we are as -- in ohio, that we need not overreact to stories and that we need to seek ways of getting all the participants in the political process to admit, to stimulate it's easy to vote -- stipulate it's easy to vote and fraud is rare. until we can overcome those misperceptions, i think it's going to be very hard to get that balance in a swing state like ohio we all see. thanks. [applause] >> with such an esteemed panel up here i feel like i should announce my candidacy for yind secretary of state. -- indiana secretary of state. then i think about all the academic writings i have done
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as a law professor and what the opposition would do with those. i think i won't. i'm here -- i work in indiana and i am going to talk about indiana and our experience so far with photo identification. -- voter identification. indiana is important, i think nationally, for a couple reasons. number one, we were just about nirs, is there anybody from georgia in the room? if there isn't, then indiana will take credit for being first in line on photo identification. as a requirement. and also indiana has served as essentially the model for other photo identification laws that have been passed and have been litigated in the court system. and so one of the things that i have been doing for the last few years is trying to assess how many folks get caught up by
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indiana's photo identification requirement. there are two major issues in this debate that call out for empirical analysis. one is the extent of voter fraud. in particular in person voter fraud. what i call voter identity theft. on election day. and the second is, how many folks are actually disenfranchised, or not capable of having a ballot that they cast get counted because of the photo identification requirement that indiana has? and in indiana if you don't have a photo identification, on election day, when you go in to cast a regular ballot, you get to vote provisionally. and if the poll worker is doing their job correctly, and a little bit more on that later, they'll check off on the provisional ballot form the fact that the person didn't have an i.d.
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the photo i.d. that was required. and what i have been doing is going county by county by county in indiana in the 2008 election cycle and in the 2012 election cycle to find out how many folks went into a polling place in indiana, cast a provisional ballot because they didn't have an i.d., and how many of those votes were counted or not counted as the case may be. and here are some numbers for your consideration. comparing both the 2008 primary and the 2012 primary, and will i tell you this, the 2008 data i collected from the 92 counties was surveyed data. we called up the election officials and asked them how many provisional pal lots they had overall. how many i.d. related provisional ballots they had overall, and then for the count on each of those items. speaking of transparency, one
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of the nice things that's happened recently in indiana is that a law was passed that actually compels county election administrators to turn over the provisional balloting materials. for public consumption under basically indiana's foia law. 2012 data from the primary is based upon my actual review of all the provisional ballots that were cast throughout the state of indiana. and again this has been tough data to compile because you have to go county by county by county to all 92 counties and kind of stay on folks to produce them. but you can see that there are a fairly significant number of ballots that were cast in the 2008 primary and the 2012 primary. and not that many provisional ballots were cast, about 2,700 in 2008 and about 600 in 2012,
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and even below that there weren't that many provisional ballots related to identification. and mostly identification related ballots are related to indiana's photo identification requirement, a few of them, about 10%, are related to the help america vote act requirement that secretary tennant spoke about. so those are the numbers. about 450 people had an i.d. ballot, provisional ballot cast in the 2008 primary, about 129 in the 2012 primary. and just so you can get a sense of the race in relation to the total ballots cast, and there are other statistics, what you see, at least a trend line, and again indiana is one of the few states where you can do this trend between 2008 and 2012, is that there is an overall reduction in the rate of provisional balloting in the state of indiana, and
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essentially a reduction in the number of i.d. related provisional ballots that were cast, and then the rate at which those i.d. related provisional ballots were actually counted has remained about the same. roughly one in every five i.d. provisional ballots actually gets counted. that means about 80% of them do not. now, this research comes with some qualifications. first off, we don't know that the folks who cast provisional ballots because they didn't have an i.d. were fraudsters. i can't prove that. i suspect that somebody who is intent on committing fraud is not likely to create the paper trail of provisional balloting that would lead them to more easily be caught, but i can't 100% certainty say that all those folks were legitimate
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voters. they were who they said they were. it also doesn't account for other ways that folks might get caught up in the photo identification requirement. we don't have really good data out there on how many people are deterred from even going to a polling place in the first instance by the existence of photo identification laws. somebody talked about that in an earlier panel, but that data really isn't out there. there's also an issue with offer and acceptance of provisional ballots. provisional ballots may not be being offered to folks by poll workers, and even if they are offered, voters may not be accepting them. if they don't have an i.d. and might walk away from the polling place. the third thing, this kind of deals with provisional ballots generally, i love poll workers, they are wonderful folks, but at least in indiana, and i
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suspect this is true elsewhere, they have an awful tough time getting the paperwork filled out right. and so there's often provisional ballots that are in envelopes and you have no idea why the provisional ballot was actually cast. provisional balloting, more big picture, is how we come up with some good practices about provisional balloting generally should also be a part of the conversation going forward from the 2012 election cycle, i think. what does this research suggest? first of all it suggests that maybe photo identification doesn't have the massive disenfranchising impact that some folks might think. it does -- i think you got a sense of that earlier on this stage where the democrats were open to talking about some kind of voter identification system


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